Be Smart and Creative When Buying/Selling Your Home


If you are buying or selling your home recently, you probably have noticed the uncertainties in the market.  Is it a good time to buy or even sell?  Well, you must have a very good and aggressive agent on both sides; but you have to be smart as well and willing to suggest or cooperate with your Realtor ®.   I, myself have difficulties adjusting to this surprisingly turn of trend no matter what the situation is.  Regardless of our friends and families’ advice; it’s teamwork between you and your Realtor®.

Looks like short sales nowadays are easy to sell in the market but of course takes too long.  But it’s all worth the wait if short sale is successful.  Standard sales looks like there are lots of inventories out there and snail motion kind of thing.  This means reduce prices and just accept the first offer that comes in.  Not an ideal scenario for you.  Once your house is entered in MRIS (agents listing system); it is automatically downloaded in 65 real estate websites or more.  In short, it will become public.  Have your sign outside the house once you sign the listing agreement with the broker.  This will create a buzz and curiosity in the neighborhood (so what) that’s what you need. Better if traffic is right there in front of your house.   Ask your agent to put lockbox/sentrilock and not combination lock at the door.  A Sentrilock is used by all agents and only they have access to it.  Agent information is automatically captured once the house is shown and your agent has the capability to follow up on feedback, addressed concerns or initiate buying interest.  Combination lock is not safe at all as some agents may reveal the code to their buyers or forgot to shuffle the combination before leaving the property. Aside from doing your own staging unless you are a professional; hire a professional stager that they can use what you have or rent furniture as a package. This does not cost too much considering the returns. Staging is your best bet.  Offer closing cost to buyers with a disclosure provided it is a full offer.  Don’t stick to it; you can be flexible once you have offer in hand.   Include only best photos of the property whether in MLS, brochures, flyers or postcards.  Do not forget to include playground, pool, tennis court, lake, shopping centers etc.. I actually do not believe in Open House since everything is accessible now on the internet, agents will call and show if they have buyer that would like to see it or potential buyers will call you directly.  It won’t hurt to do a couple of Open House.  Usually, neighbors go to Open Houses to see how their home looks better than yours and getting an idea of the sales price to see how much their equity now.

To be ahead of potential buyer and potential issues on home inspection, have your furnace checked; duct cleaned, major repairs and even minor ones.  These may kill the deal.  Better yet, purchase a Home Warranty which basic cost is around $400 and good for one year.  Home Inspection items can be included to fix or replace with the Home Warranty that mostly include furnace, appliances, plumbing, electrical,  HVAC and a lot more with just ranging deductible of $50-$100!!! Very smart idea especially if the house is old and not in perfect condition.

There are still a lot of ideas out there which your agent might have been doing.  Before you get the service of a Realtor® make sure you ask a lot about marketing strategies and feel free to suggest and address your concerns.  Don’t be afraid to put some money before you put the house in the market, you will be ahead of the game and buyers appreciate that.  Realtors® worked with their trusted contractors at very reasonable cost.  They build that relationship for years.  Next time you know, the SOLD sign is outside your house.

Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. She earned a designation of ASP, Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at or call her at 571-432-8335 or email at  for a free confidential evaluation of your property, individual situation, property value, and possible options.


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